State of the industry Spring 2016

March 26, 2016

In the early part of 2016, we have seen house prices continue to rise in many parts of England and Wales, due to sustained demand and a growing shortage of stock. This is certainly true in the London area. On average prices have risen in all parts of the UK , therefore the mix-adjusted average asking price for England and Wales increased 0.9% since last month.

As estate agents in Walthamstow, we specialise in property management and providing support to landlords, with properties to let and properties to sell in Walthamstow and Leyton. We are keenly aware of the demand for properties and recognise what a great time it is to be looking to sell or let your home.

As we look towards spring time, there are reports that Britain’s housing market could slow in the coming months due to increased stamp duty tax and growing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s membership of the EU. These drawbacks are unlikely to affect the London area too much, due to the extent of the demand.

Stamp duty charged on second homes is set to rise by 1% in April. As a consequence buyers will pay £10,000 of stamp duty rather than £2,500, on a home worth 250,000. This will undoubtedly have an impact on the property market. Furthermore, the clampdown on buy-to-let mortgages will hamper the efforts of many property developers, looking to build their own mini empires. Significant too for the London area is the changes to the right to rent legislation. In a city where many non nationals live and work, landlords are often met with requests to let their homes to foreigners. Now with the new laws, landlords will have to ensure through VISA evidence, that their tenants are eligible to live in the UK, or face a penalty fine.

In other news the East of England, London and the South East has shown huge drops in marketing times, as buyers have bought up homes at record speeds. At the moment houses stay on the market for just 102 days in the UK. Housing supply continues to decrease by 4% each year, but at the same time the number of new properties coming onto the market in London is increasing. There is a very high turnover of property in this area.

Our Sales Manager Nadeem Maqsood reports:

“The fast approaching Buy to Let tax change has seen a real spur in the housing market in the the first quarter of the year. This is confirmed by figures released my the council of mortgage lenders which indicated a 22% surge in lending to private landlords. As landlords look to get their deals closed prior to the deadline, what will be the real impact to the buy to let market ? Only time will tell.
Many commentators believe that these current set of tax implications outlined by George Osbourne are a mere attempt to control the spiraling housing market, but with interest rates still on hold and no immediate raise on the horizon, it is very difficult to see these changes sending any ripples through the market.
With alternative investments such as the stock market and pensions still playing catch up in terms of viable options. The good old investment in bricks and mortar, will almost certainly see off its latest financial restrictive hurdle.”

In terms of the rental market, there is still a shortage in supply in the London area at large. With demand high, there is plenty of opportunity for landlords to rent their homes and make a considerable profit. The changes to stamp duty have meant that buying a home over the price of £250,000 will now cost an additional £10,000 in tax. This measure plus a slowing in wages and an increase in property value, has meant that first time buyers are finding it harder to acquire property. There are still however opportunities out there to secure accommodation, but for non-EU tenants, the days of finding accommodation are fast becoming a thing of the past. Under new Right-To-Rent legislation landlords face tougher more stringent checks than ever before to ensure that they are renting their homes to those legally allowed to be in the country. Keeping on the subject of the EU, as Brexit polls narrow, we may see something of a drop in wages, impacting on individuals abilities to cover rental costs, amongst other knock on effects.

According to our Lettings Manager Aaliyah Joumana:

“The demand for housing has continued to be high, with landlords able to be picky about the caliber of tenants they select. London landlords are also guaranteed to get the monthly rents they require for their properties, so they are able to make a profit.”

At Waltham Estates, we love our local area. If you are thinking of moving to the happening borough of Leyton, we will do all we can to point you in the direction of some of the best deals on the market. We help all our customers find their dream home or apartment, with professional care and advice along the way. We offer a comprehensive property management service in Walthamstow, to make landlords lives easier. Call us today.

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